Peace Corps Director to Speak at University of Texas - Pan American

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 9, 2005 Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez will serve as keynote speaker for Global Opportunities Day at the University of Texas Pan American on November 14.

Director Vasquez will discuss the benefits of international education and awareness, as well as the rewards and challenges of Peace Corps service. He will also address the importance of increased minority participation in international service.

Under Director Vasquez\'s leadership, the Peace Corps recently reached a 30-year high in the number of Peace Corps volunteers in the field. There are currently 7,810 volunteers serving in 77 countries around the world. Peace Corps has also seen a boost in minority recruitment, where numbers have reached their highest levels since Peace Corps began tracking ethnicity in 1987. Minority volunteers now comprise nearly 16 percent of all volunteers.

In addition to operating programs across the globe, the Peace Corps has launched programs to meet urgent global needs. Working with the President\'s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, Peace Corps operates programs in numerous countries affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. And in response to the crisis following Hurricane Katrina, Peace Corps reached an agreement with FEMA to launch a historic Crisis Corps program in the Gulf Coast. This is the first time that Peace Corps has deployed volunteers domestically.

Director Vasquez is available for media interviews to discuss international volunteerism and Peace Corps\' programs in 77 countries.

Monday, November 14, Director Vasquez is available for interviews in the morning prior to his speaking engagement at noon.

To schedule an interview with Director Vasquez, please contact the Peace Corps Office of Press Relations at 202.692.2118 or e-mail [email protected]. Over the weekend you should contact Press Director Barbara Daly via e-mail.

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